The Murdoch media has displayed unbridled support for George Pell, consistently rejecting criticism of him for many years. As Richard Ackland (“How Cardinal George Pell seduced News Corp”, January 21-27) wrote so succinctly, their shamelessly one-sided commentary since his death was “swooning” to a nauseating degree. Ackland also detailed the publishing of relentless attacks on journalists who reported serious allegations made against Pell. This is mirrored by constant vilification of political enemies both here and abroad. Spiteful critiques of Jacinda Ardern in The Australian recently exemplify their ongoing belligerence.
– Mike Anderson, Holt, ACT
Mike Seccombe’s excellent article on gambling in New South Wales (“Perrottet, the pokies lobby and the Nazi uniform”, January 21-27) reveals the political demonising of the premier to distract from the argument for gambling reform in NSW. Seccombe quotes Tim Costello’s views that former one-armed-bandits have now morphed into “mini-casinos – not-for-profits paying their CEOs $1.5 million salaries”. This should be reason enough for some real reform. Surely though, addiction and harm problems are paramount. Gambling splits families and crowds hospital and other services. Perrottet is obviously trying to limit the harm with mandatory cashless gaming, but NSW Labor leader Chris Minns needs to do more than a feeble trial with a time limit. Labor’s resistance to do more is disappointing, when we know that the most disadvantaged people are the ones who suffer the most from gambling. These communities are supposed to represent a major area of Labor’s policy concern.
– Joanna Jaaniste, Lilyfield, NSW
Unconditional applause and thanks for Gareth Evans’ statesman-like contribution to our important national discussion on the Voice (“Listening to the Voice”, January 21-27). His carefully crafted demolition of all the main arguments designed to blunt our acceptance of this important reform are much needed to counter attempts to impose doubt and hesitancy in the minds of voters by (maybe well-meaning but ill-informed) opponents. His reasoned observations deserve the widest publicity and circulation.
– Ian Houston, Longreach, Qld
Gareth Evans urges non-Indigenous Australians to listen to Indigenous brothers and sisters as we have never seriously listened before. Yet he seems only prepared to listen to those who toe the party line, dismissing those who criticise the Voice as “perennially disaffected”. There are many in Indigenous communities who have serious concerns about the Voice, many arguing Treaty should come first. I hope The Saturday Paper gives space to a range of Indigenous perspectives – we don’t need to hear from any more old, white ex-politicians.
– Susan Miller, Altona, Vic
Stories must be told
Some of us, lucky enough to be immersed in Indigenous culture at some time in our lives, would have a personal story similar to Gareth Evans’. As a young medico on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands in the 1980s, I became close to an Anangu health worker. My young family met him when we visited the APY Lands a decade later. He developed renal failure, a result of poor living conditions (chronic streptococcal skin infection causing nephritis). By radiotelephone, he gently told me, “wiya” (no), he would not go to Adelaide for renal dialysis. He died aged 35. I loved the man. Out of respect for Anangu culture and indeed for my own self, I can still only refer to him as Kunmanara (“no name”). These heartfelt stories of disadvantage need to be told.
– Craig Brown, Eaglehawk Neck, Tas
A beautiful tribute to the humble and gentle champion that is Sam Stosur (Martin McKenzie-Murray, “Going out gracefully”, January 21-27). Thanks for giving credit to a genuine champion. And please more articles about the wonderful female athletes out there. Like: Ash Gardner and her quiet education for us all about issues for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
– Robyn James, Healesville, Vic
A few billion out
I enjoyed Richard Denniss’s critique of the Reserve Bank and its perseveration over unemployment and inflation rates, which are exposed as rather arbitrary measures (“The 63-year-old number setting interest rates”, January 21-27). But when Denniss characterises the RBA governor’s assertion that interests rates would not likely rise before 2024 as “perhaps the largest prediction error in modern Australian economic history”, I wonder whether he is remembering 2020, when Treasury’s bungled JobKeeper forecast missed by $60 billion?
– David Lisle, Mullumbimby, NSW
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This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on January 28, 2023.
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